The Research Training Group 2575 “Rethinking Quantum Field Theory” funded by the German Research Foundation invites applications for a

two doctoral positions 

One of the PhD projects will be in mathematical physics. It will embrace enumerative geometry, topological recursion, higher algebraic structures and low-dimensional quantum field theories. 

The second PhD project is not fixed and can be pursued in any of the research areas of the RTG 2575.

The RTG is conducted by all research groups in quantum field theory at Humboldt Universität zu Berlin in cooperation with partners from DESY and the Max-Planck-Institute for Gravitational Physics in Potsdam. We offer challenging PhD projects in the areas of

  • Scattering amplitudes
  • Phenomenology
  • Lattice Field Theory
  • AdS/CFT Correspondence
  • Analytical Gravitational Waves
  • Mathematical aspects of Quantum Fields

The employment is through a 3-year doctoral position (66.6% salary scale TV-L E13) starting November 1st 2022 or soon thereafter. The successful applicant should hold a degree equivalent to a Master’s degree in theoretical physics or related areas. Special attention will be given to women’s applications, as we wish to encourage more women to follow research paths in mathematical and theoretical physics. Disabled applicants will be preferred if they are equally suitable. Applications from people with a migration background are expressly welcome.

Please apply here. The deadline is August 27th 2022.

The application should contain (in a single PDF file):

  • motivation letter
  • CV
  • copies of grade transcripts
  • copies of degree certificates
  • copy of the Master’s thesis if already available

Moreover, two reference letters will have to be submitted separately. In your motivation letter, please make sure to explain your match to the profile of the RTG, and to include your preference for one or more research areas/topics, PhD projects and possibly supervisors.

Profile of the Research Training Group 2575

Quantum field theory (QFT) plays a fundamental role in theoretical physics. It provides the unification of quantum mechanics and special relativity and as such is a major intellectual achievement of the past century. Today’s understanding of particle physics is summarised in a QFT known as the Standard Model (SM). With the discovery of the Higgs boson, the SM is complete and constitutes a self consistent theory up to highest energies. However, a number of terrestrial experiments exhibit significant tensions with the SM, while astrophysical observations require the existence of dark matter, showing that the SM is not the ultimate theory of particle physics. In addition, pressing theoretical questions, such as the quest for a quantum theory of gravity, the hierarchy problem and the appearance of dualities between different QFTs, force us to reassess the foundations of the SM and of QFT in general.

In recent years important innovations in QFT have occurred, leading the community to seriously rethink its core concepts. These innovations include the methodology of perturbation theory, dualities and hidden symmetries, the prominent role of effective field theories, modern on- shell methods for scattering amplitudes and the gradient flow technology in lattice field theory. The training in and further development of these innovations within QFT are the central goals of this research training group.

Our group is characterised by broad expertise, ranging from formal aspects of QFT via phenomenology and lattice field theory to analytical methods for gravitational wave research. We have designed a timely qualification program for a new generation of quantum field theorists which will train them in these modern aspects of QFT that have not yet made it into the textbooks and to which members of our consortium have significantly contributed. This broad education will lay a solid foundation for a successful scientific career in theoretical physics.

The key elements of our qualification program are (i) introductory and advanced courses on QFT, (ii) an annual retreat with external lecturers and seminars, (iii) a monthly QFT colloquium, (iv) two internships in neighbouring research groups, (v) self-organised seminars, (vi) presentations on career perspectives outside of academia, and (vii) professional soft skills training.